Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Day in New York City Block (2008)

By Bixyl Shuftan

This article was originally published in April 2008. It had been several months since I first met Cheri Bing, a Brooklin lady whom build a place close in detail to part of her home, which she called New York City Block. Me and a few friends would check out the place on occasion. This time, things were a bit more active than usual.

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It had been a while since I gave my friend in New York City, Cheri Bing, a visit. So I dropped by. Looking around, I found her beside an apartment complex, and we had a cheerful hello. She introduced me to a couple local friends of hers, and we talked about recent goings on.

While we were talking came an odd sight. A guy in a dark suit was being chased by a neko catgirl armed with a baseball bat. At one point, she caught up with him and whacked him hard enough for a spray of blood to fly. It wasn't enough to impede him, but only spurred him to run faster. We just starred at the odd sight, Cheri commenting this behavior wasn't that unusual here.

Then came another sight. A pegasus came down to join Cheri and I. Cheri chuckled, commenting earlier a unicorn had walked down the streets, and it allowed her to get on and ride it. "I think it was feeling horny," she punned. The winged horse was soon joined by a gryphon, then they flew off. Then a walking tree, a treant, began lumbering down the road. Cheri commented she had wanted more trees down the street, but this wasn't exactly what she had in mind.

The walking tree soon waddled away, but them came a dark lizard-like monster, about ten feet high and twenty feet long. It got up on someone's car, and stood there on it's four feet. After a minute, a stout middle-aged man in a jumpsuit, angry and brandishing another bat stormed out of the apartment, yelling "GET THE F@#% OFF OF MY CAR!! " The monster just belched a jet of flame his way, but it passed harmlessly over his head. "Maybe you should politely tell him," one girl suggested. "Okay," he told her, then looked back at the monster, "Get the f@#% off of my car! Hey, I was polite, no shouting."

It was amazing that this man was facing this fire-breathing creature with only a baseball bat. Then again, maybe after decades from being invaded by King Kong, Godzilla, and other huge monsters, twenty feet just didn't cut it with intimidating New Yorkers.

Just about as amazing, it worked. The monster got off the car, and walked off. Then something else got on the car, the neko catgirl. She proceeded to dance around on it. The man didn't get mad this time. Instead, he got up with her, looking at the sight before him. Apparently, New Yorkers can be charmed just like anyone else by a shapely catgirl.

They soon got off the car, going back into the apartment complex, and Cheri had to go in herself to take care of something. While waiting, I saw a vampire bat guy walk down the street. He saw a blood stain at the spot where the catgirl had earlier whacked a guy. "I'll probably get blamed for that." he muttered to himself. When a couple of girls came onto the street, he took off a few feet. Instead of being scared, the girls just cheered him on, "Yeah baby, shake those hips!" one shouted as his lower body maneuvered to hover. He continued to hover about them, apparently amused, until something else got the girls attention. He then flew off.

One of the girls saw me, and invited me into her apartment to chat. So we went in. We were soon joined by her pet mini-dragon, gnawing on a hot dog. Cheri came by, and we chatted for a while.

A calmer end to an interesting day in this New York City block.

*  *  *  *  *

New York City Block would continue on for a few more years, best known for it's 9-11 memorial events. But then Cheri became busy with real life matters, and so she had to depart Second Life, and without her the sim soon faded away. Although there were other New York sims, this one was for people to make their virtual homes in.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Second Life (Nov 2007)

By Bixyl Shuftan

Originally published in Second Life Newspaper in Nov 21, 2007

I recently went to the recently opened Vietnam Veterans Memorial’s virtual counterpart here in Second Life. Besides viewing the very well detailed replica of “The Wall,” I met up with one of the men behind it, Evian Argus. I gave him an interview, and he took me on a tour of the sim.

Evian Argus (Robert Eagan in real life) is the President of Meme Science (, which built the sim in honor of the Veterans who gave their lives, “we endeavored to communicate the history and existence of this significant memorial to current and future generations in an innovative and relevant manner,”  and for people interested in visiting whom are unable to visit the real memorial. Planning, designing, and building the sim took about two months, done by Bleys Chevaller (Don Cramer in real life). He spent several Fhours at the D.C. Vietnam Memorial, taking over 300 photographs of The Wall and statues. He then spent about a week studying the photographs. Work on the Three Soldiers Statue and the Vietnam Veterans Womens Memorial Statue was done by Meleni Fairymeadow. The sim was and will continue to be funded by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

The virtual memorial was opened to the public in Second Life on November 7, coordinated with the 25th Anniversary ceremonies in Washington D.C. Between then and Veterans Day, about 1000 residents came over. And as I looked the place over, people continued to drop by to visit. Upon entry, one is greeted with a movie screen showing both images of the real wall and it’s replica here, along with audio of some of the names of the fallen.

The Three Soldiers Statue is “made up of mostly prim design w ith some sculptie objects,” with a total of 484 prims. Asked if there were any problems making it, “I had this sculpture made of all sculptir designing by another artist. It did not meet my design specifications, so I did not use it, ” So he paid the man and hired Meleni Fairymeadow, whose work with mostly prims he felt better captured “the true essence of the emotion of the individual soldiers.” Fairymeadow also worked on the The Vietnam Veterans Women’s Memorial, taking a total of about 70 hours and about 4 16 prims.

“The Wall” in Second Life contains 58,223 names instead of the 58,256 of the real one. Mr. Chevalier had found out 33 of the names had been placed by mistake, and there were three which had been added recently. So the correct number of names were listed. And from the avatar’s point of view on the walkway, like a person there in real life, one cannot help but be struck by the enormity of all those names on the large wall of black. The memorial’s names are faithfully detailed, and legible once fully rezzed. Besides the mouse, one can zoom in on them using control-0 and control-8. At night, lights in the walkway turn on and illuminate “The Wall.”

Finding an individual’s name was made simpler by the builders, “We have four directories. You can search for any name on the wall, and teleport to that name on the exact panel, and leave flowers or flags for that name, right from the Directory.” For testing, I had to pick a name at random from a list of names online, choosing Frank Blas. It took a few tries, but it worked after a couple false starts. Besides the option of teleporting to the name, one can also have the area briefly marked with a white arrow and walk down to it. Flags and flowers left will show who they are left for.

Every detail in the sim was finely done, the autumn leaves slowly falling in the breeze, the occasional squirrel chirping as it skitters about the grass. There was one detail the builders would like to have included, but were unable to. The real Wall’s black granite is polished to a mirror-like finish so when you look at the names of the dead and missing, you see your reflection among them. This could not be replicated using the existing building tools in Second Life. Chevalier hopes someday they will be improved to allow them to recreate the reflection experience. Still, “The Wall” can only be considered a faithfully detailed and well done tribute for our veterans in Vietnam.

For further information, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Second Life has it’s own website: (http://ww A Youtube report is also available: (

The builders of The Wall sim still have plans for further builds and improvements. Besides improving the name directories, they plan to increase the number of items one can leave at the wall, including photos and other custom textures. They also plan to add a new building that will host both real-life and Second Life material related to the memorial, such as video and weblinks. They also plan to add an image of the Washington Monument so it will look visible from the memorial as it does in real-life. For the website, they plan to add a search feature to find individual vets from there . One will also be able to view information about the vets from the database, and possibly add comments about them. One will also be able to leave items at the virtual memorial from the website, or schedule to have them left. Finally, as one can get a pencil rubbing of a name off the real wall, one will also be able to get a virtual rubbing from the web site.

On a final note, I was not able to start and finish this article in time for Veterans Day. But as Evian Argus noted, tributes to Veterans are not confined to then and Memorial Day.

“Thanks for coming, and your interest in the Wall.”

*  *  *  *  *

This was among the first articles I wrote for SL Newspaper, and still among my favorites. "The Wall" would be up for a few more years. Finally on Veterans Day 2011 when I looked on the map for it, it was no longer around.

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, May 22, 2015

Berlin Wall Display in Second Life (Nov 2008)

By Bixyl Shuftan
Originally published in Second Life Newspaper on Nov 2008

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On Veterans Day/Rememberance Day, I heard about a replica of part of the Berlin Wall set up here in Second Life. IMing the man I heard built it, Christo Larsen, we chatted for a couple minutes, then he invited me to his sim Ciel. So I went over.

“A lot of foreign people don’t know much about about the Berlin Wall,” Christo, whom is German, told me, “even th e younger ones. He explained that the New Berlin area also had a replica of the Wall, “It’s very good, sophisticated, but they don’t have any information, ... no displays.”

Christo explained he was aware of the Berlin Wall as a kid, but he lived far away from it, “This whole business didn’t touch me, no connection. I never went to it while it was up. ... But still, I remember the day (when it came down). ... friends and family who couldn’t see each other ... “ His thoughts turned again to how people forgot, “You know how people ... all the things have been better, they don’t understand. ... inside, they didn’t let yo u meet them ... they arrested, they even shot. ... It’s been nineteen years now. Of course people born under a united Germany they don’t know what it was like.”

“I’ve even have someone ask when Hitler built it,” Christo remarked of how little some people knew about it, “I don’t see them as stupid. For instance, North American History, the Civil War, I don’t know what it was about. ... Second Life ... we have plenty of malls and clubs ... we need more educational areas ... debates ... it’s one thing to read a %bout it, but if you see a movie or docudrama ... “ Second Life was in turn a better media, he told, “gives you a chance to walk along it.”

The exhibit itself consisted of the Wall with bare dirt, wire fence, sections of old brick wall (presumably buildings caught in the path of the Wall) and tank barriers on the eastern side. With the western side marked by graffiti, the eastern has information signs and pictures for visitors. In the middle of the Wall Section was a replica of the American Checkpoint - Checkpoint Charlie, “The most famous one, being in the movies.” He mentioned as the entire Berlin Wall was constructed on East German territory, the American soldiers at the checkpoint were technically on the other side of the border, “but no one shot for that.”

On the East German side were & a couple cars, East German Trabbi, “symbol of the inferiority of the East German economy. ... plastic, not steel, body was a hard plastic shell.” An East German worker often had to wait ten to fifteen years to get one of the “stinky and noisy” vehicles, “But people still love them,” Christo saying they were now a rare collectors item.

We walked along the displays to those of escape attempts across the Wall. One was a picture of the East German soldier who made a break for it, and safely made it without being fired at from either side. Another picture was of a woman who dropped from a high window in a building straddling the Wall zone to reach freedom, later dying from her injuries. Christo talked about what he felt was the most famous death at the Wall, a teenager trying to make a break for it , getting through no-mans-land, and getting shot just before he could get up the West side of the Wall. He bled to death in front of everyone, Christo saying the soldiers on both sides were afraid of starting a fight.

Then there was the fall of the Berlin Wall, “The border all around was armed, but Berlin was the symbol ... divided streets ... finally people were able to sit on the Wall. No one knew about the soldiers, who still were under orders to secure the border. But none of them fired ... we were very lucky. In 1953, East Germans protested ... Soviets sent troops in, smashed the uprising down violently.” Christo felt the Perestroika movement under Soviet leader Gorbachev helped pave the way for the fall of the Wall, but that it would not have been possible without the lessening tensions between Russia and the West.

Pictures showed the wall coming down, Christo giving Dec 22 as the date. He also put up comparison pictures of how bare places looked just after the wall was torn down, and years later when they were covered with buildings, “Look how it is fifteen years later, it’s amazing. ... Wounds can heal, but scars never go away.”

At the end was a streaming video, pictures related to the wall, with Pink Floyd music, and Regan’s famous phrase, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Christo says the Berlin Wall will not be permanent, but will be keeping it up for a week or two, depending on how many people visit, “Sometimes you get tired of all the shopping. I’m not saying one should go to a vitural museum every day, but once in a while.”

The Berlin Wall exhibit is at Ciel (60. 50, 24).

“Thank you so much.”

*  *  *  *  *

The Berlin Wall exhibit (I later found out the Communists called it the "Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart") would go up one more time the following year in 2009. When I went to the location in 2010, it wasn't there. Sad as it was a fitting reminder of the most visible location where Europe was split in two by the Iron Curtain, The Wall dividing not just a city, but people, friends and family whom felt they would never see one another again.

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, May 21, 2015

New Homeland For The Jews (May 2007)

Originally published in May 22, 2007 by Miralee Munro

JEWS ALL AROUND THE WORLD and in Second Life have a new 'home' with the opening last Sunday of the Ir Shalom "City of Peace" sim by Carter Giacobini and his very talented team of co-creators, CryptoMorph Lake and Lyric Wilberg.

In his opening ceremony speech, Carter told the crowd that when he started building the Jewish Historical Museum and Synagogue (JHM&S), he had planned on opening in September, or even later, but the desire of the Jewish community to set down roots had been so strong, the whole project had been completed just three months after the JHM&S had opened.

"I think that's a testament to the desire of the Jewish community to set up roots wherever we are," he stated. "Throughout our history, we have adapted and succeeded in every environment that diaspora has led us to. And, even though exile didn't bring us to SL, we still bring with us the desire and ability of adaptation, unity and community."

"We bring with us the need for family ties, to be with fellow Jews in an environment that we have made our own."

"My hope is that this place will serve as the foundation of the Jewish community on SL. To be the main place where Jews can come to take classes in our community centre; have parties at the country club; develop their businesses in our shops and Jewish Business Development Group; learn about our history in the museums, and to be able to be with each other in a safe environment."

"This is your city. This is your new home."

Carter went on to explain that the main focus of the site was locating the Temple Beit Shalom in the centre of the city, so that all things would be an outgrowth from that. Project contributor, CryptoMorph Lake, began construction on the temple, the day the island was born.

"The temple was the first thing to begin here - as it should be anywhere in any Jewish community," continued Carter, who paid tribute to the "wisdom and knowledge" of his co-creator Crypto and acknowledged the "amazing gifts of time and decorating sense" of Lyric Wilberg and the exhibition construction of Tomaso Rall.

Crypto wished "a big mazal tov and shehachianu" to the island, thanking everyone who had helped out in creating the final creation the crowd now beheld.

He referred to Ir Shalom as "a very unique place, one that is fully dedicated to serving the group with content you can't get anywhere else. A place of community and learning."

When Tomaso called out, "Here's to life!", the rousing response of "L'chaim" rang out throughout the crowd.

One of the highlights of the day was the announcement of the winning Torah design for the temple.

Photo above: Judges were unable to choose one winner from the entries above, so selected three Torahs for the synagogue. The winning entries were made by Mushund Mills, Janae McLeod and Nightspy Rebus & Rafi Tulip.

Among the many interesting sites to visit at Ir Shalom, is the Holocaust Memorial Museum which, to be expected, is a solemn testament to the darkest days of Jewish history in modern times. One of the saddest information plaques reads:

"On the walls, you can see scratch marks made by people trying to escape. To the left is where the crematory was placed. After the prisoners were murdered, they would be vaulted into the crematorium by use of a crude catapult to be disposed of."

No matter what you think of, or how you feel toward, Jews - this type of scar is bound to set you apart from others. An injury of this magnitude lasts forever.

Next door, at the Historical Centre, famous Jews featured include Modigliani, Leonard Bernstein, Marcel Proust, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, Albert Einstein, Ann Landers, Golda Meir and Goldie Hawn.

The most poignant display is of Nazi Holocaust survivor, Liviu Librescu, who was also an aeronautics engineer and teacher. Liviu was recently murdered at the Virginia Tech massacre. More than any other display there, I was moved to bend my head for a moment's silence in honour of this simple man. Librescu used his body to barricade a classroom door to protect several students, but was gunned down.

The information sheet on Liviu urges, "Let those he saved now make the most of it."

(Photo above: Liviu Librescu (centre) is flanked by Ann Landers (on left) and Modigliani (at right).

Shops and businesses at Ir Shalom include the very wittily named "Mitzvah Bar Gift Shop" - specialising in alcohol and hats! (If you can help the also very wittily-named bar owner Jieux Shepherd, refine his chair scripts, he'd be ever so grateful!)

There is also a Rabbi's Attic shop; a Sisterhood of Ir Shalom drop-in centre and Bubbe's Bakery and Jewish Deli, offering chocolate chip cookies, donuts, and Bubbe's chicken soup, reportedly "good for what ails you".

One of the many people who made it to the opening (international time differences made it difficult for European and Israeli Jews to participate in the event), was Orthodox Jewess, Tam Hyun who said she had been keeping an eye on construction work for the past couple of weeks.

"It's tremendous - more than I ever thought was possible," she enthused. "It makes me feel welcome and not so much a stranger to SL. The island brings a bit of real life home to me."

RebMoshe Zapedzki took me on a tour of the shul, which is Yiddish for synagogue and showed me the ahron, where the torah, the set of guidelines on behaviour to God and man, is stored on a raised platform.

He paid tribute to what has been achieved, saying, "Communities are built by a small handful of people like Carter and Lyric and Beth."

Another guest, Kafka Schnabel who has been tracking Jewish developments in SL since the beginning, said, "I think this is a big step for the Jewish community of SL. We are creating a Jewish shetelt. I hope that this will lead to interesting new developments in SL Judaism, and hopefully also interfaith."

People celebrating the opening of Ir Shalom included Chana Beck, who describes herself as "Jew Crew", Yoni Schwartzman, Nemi McCoy, TamaraEden Zinnemann, Blayke Allen, Ghahir2 Binder, Cajh Writer, GruvenRueven Greenberg, Yoni Schwartzman, Gavriel Beerbaum, Charles Houston and Kirk Claymore.

Comments about the site ranged from Chana Black's, "This will be a wonderful community, I just know it" to Gavriel Beerbaum who said, "Wait until I spread the word about this at the Beit Israel Group in Portugal."

Another memorable event of the evening was a 'Magical Mystery Tour' in a bus, driven rather chaotically but with great panache, humour and enthusiasm, by sim owner, Carter Giacobini.

I would like to say that I took this tour, but for most of it, I was either running behind the bus, or flying above it trying to get on! At one stage, I did manage to board the double decker, but I got thrown around so much I fell out the back, with a great appreciation of how a cocktail feels in the shaker! When the journey (ordeal!) was over at last, there was the odd mention of "hire a limo next time!" "with a driver!"

At the end of the festivities, while we danced to the grooviest music I've heard yet on SL and I listened to the happy banter of Jews 'at home', I almost felt Jewish myself.

Photo above: CryptoMorph Lake, Carter Giacobini and Ever Student (front row) with one of the guests beside Tomaso Rall and Tam Hyun (middle) and RebMoshe Zapedzki, Gavriel Beerbaum and Nemi McCoy (rear)

(Photo above: TamaraEden Zinnemann (centre) and her friends who engaged me in a stimulating discussion of Judaism the day before the opening) More on this and other Jewish-related issues in later editions.

Miralee Munro

*  *  *  *  *

Miralee Munro would eventually retire from Second Life Newspaper some months later. But she is still active in Second Life, sometimes found at the artistic community at Perfect Paradise. The Ir Shalom sim is gone, but there has been a longtime Jewish presence in the Nessus sim.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Avatar in Second Life (Jan 2010)

By Bixyl Shuftan

In December 2009, the much anticipated sci-fi movie "Avatar" by James Cameron reached the theaters, and was a blockbuster hit, drawing huge numbers. People marveled at the groundbreaking special effects used to create the alien "Na'vi" in the film, as well as the planet's beautiful appearance. In Second Life, it was frequently talked about, the tie-in with the name "Avatar" being obvious. Avatars of the aliens were soon made, and before long, roleplay areas.

*  *  *  *  *

James Cameron’s science-fiction movie “Avatar” has taken cinema by storm, setting box office records in the United States and elsewhere across the world. Inevitably, people began making avatars of the alien “Na’vi.” Whenever there’s something big in science-fiction, people are drawn to begin with to recreate it here. With “Avatar,” there was a certain irony to it. There’s the movie’s name, making the “Na’vi” in Second Life “Avatar” avatars. And just like the humans in the movie create “avatars” to go about in an alien world in an imersive and personal manner, people have been doing so with “Na’vi” avatars here in the Metaverse. And of course Second Life avatars tend to be much taller than normal human anyway.

Many of us have already seen the familiar blue, thin humanoids showing up at clubs or other places. As it turns out, there have been efforts at more, trying to recreate the world of Pandora in Second Life.

Probably the most detailed of these Pandora areas is the Pandora Magic sim in Second Life. The entry area has a few freebies nearby, notably the rp combat system. Portals can take you to shops, or straight down to the planet. And given a little time to load, it is a most beautiful sight. Trees standing tall in the air, luminous plants and creatures providing colorful light - notably when seen at nighttime, flowers that make “crunch” noises and temporarily vanish when you walk near.

And of course there were a few Na’vi avatars about, walking here and there. There was also a couple embracing in a leaf boat moving slowly along a river. There were other cuddle poses throughout the sim, for any couples going here for a stroll in the woods. Supposedly some people after seeing the movie are depressed about not being able to visit Pandora for real (Click Here for CNN article). Logging into Second Life and going to Pandora Magic would certainly be one way to ease these down feelings.

Pandora Magic and its sister sim Pandora Hellsgate are the location for a German Na’vi roleplay group, though they don’t seem to have a problem with visitors going about the forest. The language at the starting area was German, though some notecards had English translations. Most of the chat heard was not in English, but there was one who did, commenting, “I think the reason Second Life has gone AVATAR crazy is because the movie related to us in a big way. A lot of us log in to a new body and a new world with unimaginable possibilities. SL is the outdated version. (laughter).”

Going into Search and typing Na’vi or Pandora, one will find other sims. Checking some of them, none led to a forest as lush as Pandora Magic’s, but there were some other roleplay groups. Angels Sanctuary had a Na’vi forest, which while not as detailed as Pandora Magic was better than most other "Avatar" places I saw. Two places had the same design space station, with a free human Hardsuit and 1L hovercraft, though except for demos the Na'vi avatars were a little costly. And some areas, while a nice place to stroll, seemed to have nothing to do with the “Avatar” movie, or were just a place to sell expensive avatars and props.

So if you’re someone who’s seen the movie and wants to relive it, or just want to see a little of what all the hype is about, Second Life offers places and things for you.

kîyevåme, eana-txim.”

"(See you soon, blue butt.)"

*  *  *  *  *

Eventually, the movie was dropped from the theaters, and the chatter among the bulk of Second Life residents faded. But for the roleplayers the movie continued to hold their interest. Checking the map a couple years later, the Pandora Magic area was still around, and there were both buildings for the humans, and a group of Na'vi avatars going about. Five years later, the sim is gone. But a search of sims with the name "Pandora" revealed one with a familiar looking landscape with a huge tree. For some, five years after the movie came and went from the theaters, the movie still inspires them to recreate the scenery here.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bay City: Reminiscences

 By Gemma Cleanslate

Bay City. I cannot believe it is seven years since Bay City appeared on the map. I remember visiting the newly formed lands that were almost empty at the time. My early recollections are of an open area with tree lined paths a large pond with plants around. I recall empty marked roads waiting for traffic and well ordered canals with bridges connecting the areas. I am sure I took a ride on a boat along the canals and also a ride on a trolley car that gave me an overview of the lands. I think I passed an industrial area along the ride. It is hard to remember much more. One thing I do  delight in, I learned to bowl there in Bay City. It was great fun. I wish I could access the article I did at the time for the SL Newspaper, but it is lost in the mist of the internet somewhere. It was in my early days so everything new was a great adventure . 
“Bay City is a mainland community, developed by Linden Lab™ and home to the Bay City Alliance. The Bay City Alliance was founded in 2008 to promote the Bay City regions of Second Life™ and provide a venue for Bay City Residents and other interested parties to socialize and network.”  I took that quote from the profile of the Bay City Alliance Group description.

The Bay city of today is so different from back then. It is a vibrant community holding events that are lots of fun and inviting everyone to attend. The Fairgrounds in the North Channel  is the place for great vintage car expo, flea markets,  parties for the Moles of Second Life every year. Citizens are very fond of the Moles who built the regions . There is a party to chose the Miss Bay City every year and so much more. Actually you can read all about the history of the area in the second life wiki .
I went over to look around again before their 7th anniversary next weekend and reminisce on the early days and the massive changes that have taken place. I stopped off at the community center but it was early and no one was there yet. If you visit there you can pick up their flag, a tee shirt, see some artifacts of the past and events and read abut the history on placards set up by Marianne McCann, a prominent citizen. On the wall there is an excellent map of Bay City as it is today. Click and you will get a list of the  landmarks.  I stopped over at the Harbor which is a vibrant area full of boats.There is an infohub at Moose beach where I made a visit. I took a look at the Hau Koda airport and the Cafe Deco. The Amusement Park is a fun place to visit as is the Bayou Theater. I missed the canal trolley sorry to say, but will go try to catch it when I can.  I was able to catch the other trolley for a ride along the roads . 
At the end of the line I found my bowling alley in Handa. This was the point of my first visit those many years ago. It was a great thrill! Ah, the olden days...  I am so looking forward to the parade along route 66 on Sunday May 17 at 12:30 PM SL time ! It will be a great time! 
Gemma Cleanslate

Friday, May 8, 2015

Angels’ Beach (Dec 2009)

By Bixyl Shuftan

At Cape Suzette in the Sunweaver region is a small but growing beach club, Angels Beach.

The club had some small beginnings, starting off as just big enough for several patrons. “We opened in April, and we have expanded three times,” club owner Nydia Tungsten explained. She credited Kim7 Avril for the idea, “she helped me when I was down and helped me create Nydia's Angels (Nydia’s group). About the same time we were working on the club and it just fell into place.” Nydia credits Treminari Huet with building the club, “this club is her design.” Treminari has been happy with the club’s progress, “I’m glad to see Nydia doing something successful with it. :) “

Of the club’s small and cozy beginnings, Nydia commented, “I like to still think of it that way, compared to the size of most clubs. Angels Beach is a good size. No wasted space to get lost in. No fancy ‘themes’ like space or playing cowboy and Indians or pirates. What we wanted was someplace to come and be themselves and relax just hang out and maybe even meet someone special, kinda like I did at Zero. ... We made the club a beach club because, people go to the beach to have fun. And that is my number one goal, to help people have a good time.”

Nydia herself is an experienced DJ in Second (Life, having played at a number of other clubs, including (but far from limited to) Club Zero Gravity, Xanadu, and Cutlass, “We will be playing what people want to hear music-wise. Our DJ's will be taking requests from all genres, except crap ... I mean rap ... wait, I had it right the first time.“ She also has other DJs on her team. There is Lsai Aeon, coined the “Purple Puppy” by her fans, noted for her Saturday night  antics when DJing. And there is whom Nydia calls her lead DJ, “the mistress of the tunes if you will,” Alexandra Tymets, “I was impressed with her wide selection and general knowledge of music.”

Alexandra, or “Sexy Lexi” as she’s sometimes called, plays a variety of music, “I can do 80s, Trance/Techno, and Eurometal. A little bit of Angry Grrrl Rock too, Pink, Liz Phair, etc. And, umm, of course a selection of silliness. Technically I could even do Classic Rock if it came down to it. I have a little Corsi and Bob Rivers, and of course a ton of Weird Al. Oh and some Lemon Demon and Mc Chris. And if I don't have it, I have a talent for finding it.” During the conversation, Lexi’s neko mousegirl avie, or “Nezumi” as she calls it, had her ears rubbed a few times by a friend, resulting in a surprised squeaky expression, “They keep me around to DJ and make me squeak.” Her friend grinned, “She's our little squeaker toy.”

Scheduled parties are not the only time people gather at Angels Beach. Sometimes a few friends show up just to hang out, or dance to whatever the stream is playing. With the recent expansion, there are cuddle chairs available for couples, plus a fun inner tube ride on the new underdeck underneath the main deck that allows the swimmer to take a leisurely drift on the river around some of the surrounding land, and back to the club. Just be careful of that patch of green ...

Although the club’s general theme is always a beach one, there are themed parties. One was a Wild West party in which most of the people showed up as not cowboys, outlaws, or Indians, but the horses. “Had plenty of horsepower that night,” Nydia joked. Nydia felt the party with the largest turnout was the “Hi-tech Redneck.” The winner, “I think she went for a cyborg rancher. It was pretty inventive ... had a neon coyote, a mech dog, robo horse, had a few good ones.”

Nydia reminded that although the majority of the club’s patrons are furs, all are welcome. There are some normal human avatars in her club group, “Human, neko, merfolk, who ever or what ever you are in Second Life, you will be welcomed. I will be looking for water scenery for the merfolk.” She is also looking for a “mermaid” dance animator for the club. Nydia mentioned one in her staff, Jian Alcot, lives in Europe, and plans to run events at times more convenient to Europeans when more join the group, “if she can get enough from across the pond we will start having Euro-parties as well.”

With Club Zero having to close it’s doors, Nydia made the decision to expand the club’s schedule to fill the hours the space club once held, “I have talked with Ranchan and she and I think Angels beach would do well as the Zero's replacement, so she is supporting me with this by allowing me to send notices in the Zero's groups and she will spend some time here as well as I hope DJ'ing every now and then.” There will be parties every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to *8 PM Second Life time, and 8 to 10 PM on Saturday nights. For fans of Lsai Aeon, Nydia says she will be taking her act from Club Zero to Angels.

Tonight is the night, Angels beach is BACK, and DJ sexy Lexi will be taking requests with 1000L's on the board, Angels and Demons is the event, so wich ever side you fall on come and say Hi and dance the night away, meet old friends or make a few new ones this is the place to come and relax and Have a good time, Try the Innertube ride, find our cuddle cave, or just enjoy the music Come and Enjoy the the newest Sunweaver club

On Saturday night on December 5, the club held it’s Grand-Reopening party at 8 PM SL time, to celebrate it’s expansion in size and hours. The theme was “Angels & Demons,” with everyone described as enjoying heavenly-looking dancers and having a devil of a time. It was a well-attended bash, with close to two dozen people were at Angels’ beach. There was a contest with a 2000L prize for the winner for best in theme. The result was a tie by Vania Arashi and Alpine Plessis.

The location of the club is at  Cape Suzette (74/ 34/ 24), and has a small website and schedule here - .

So for a great day at the beach to play or unwind, and a great place to party at night, come to Angels Beach.

“A little piece of Heaven on the sandy shore.”

*  *  *  *  *

This is one of the first articles that I wrote about the Angels/Sunweaver region. It appeared in Second Life Newspaper in December 2009. Less than a year later, the club would be gone when the sim vanished, but it would be an inspiration for the "Happy Vixen" club which appeared at Purfection later. Most of the people mentioned here would also move on as time went on, though the Sunweavers/Angels remember them as part of the history of the community.

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, May 1, 2015

Ponyland's Grand Opening

On Sunday April 26 at 6 PM, the opening of a new pony-themed sim was announced. The place, appropriately named "Ponyland," was set up south of the more populated sims of Trotsdale and Pony Town. To celebrate, a party was held to kick off it's official start.

At 6 SLT we're going to kick off the grand opening party to the newest Pony sim on the grid: Ponyland! Big thanks and congrats to Scenty and Old Vamp on all that hard work and the fruition of dreams. (Ame won't be sad if you head over there instead of her slot, she's heading that way after her reading is done)

ScentualLust, one of Luskwood's skunks, was one of the administrators of the sim. She was there and dancing with the ponies on a platform about several dozen meters above the ground.

Among the pony avatars, there was quite a variety.

The floor glowed in places when stepped on.

Michi Lumin wasn't their directly, but did send an alt over.

 Panning out, one could see various scenes of the new sim.

A fun time was held by those there at the grand opening party.


Bixyl Shuftan

*Addition* As it turns out, Scentual isn't just an admin of Ponyland, but it's owner.